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tv   The Willis Report  FOX Business  December 8, 2012 5:00am-6:00am EST

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>> on gay marriage, look, i -- it's not something i care deeply about, but, again, the social conservatives o. glad they get to have their day. lou: thanks very much. than you. >> thank you. lou: appreciate it. edward tweeted us to say for six years, six years, obama said the bush tax cuts are bad, drop bush's name, and, now, the tax cuts are good. how can this be? it's interesting, isn't it? that's all for us. have a great weekend. we'll see you monday. good night from new ♪ gerri: tonight, did president obama break the law? some in the senate say yes, and now the cases in front of a judge. we will have a heated debate. with more than a million charities and the u.s. alone, how did you find the best one? we have you covered. "welcome to "the willis report."
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hello, everybody. i'm gerri willis. toght no progress on the fiscal cliff as democrats and republicans trade barbs over the issue. one group of americans is finding a wayhrough this regardless of congress and the president. small-business owners in this country are preparing to hire. jo me now, chief u.s. economist for i may just pull one side. heart of america group founder, and meer of the jobs creation alliance and actual job creators in this country who say their voices not being heard in this office took with debate. also with us from the weekly standard, steven haze. welcome. great to have you here. i want to sart with the conversation in washington and what the speaker had to say about the status of the fiscal here is mr. boehner. >> this is in the progress report because thereis no progress to report.
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when it comes to the fiscal cliff that is turning our economy and jobs, the white hhuse is wasted another week. gerri: what do y say? we wasted another week. we seem to be getting nowhere, and now folks are saying the president is trying to entice us of the fiscal cliff. >> look, i think they're actuly some pretty strong incentives for the president to take the country over the fiscal cliff. if you lo at what the president's stance to gain if the country goes over the fiscal cliff, here are very clear and identifiable things. on the one hand the president could idenfy himself as a tax cutter. he could say -- on january 1st the president in terms of the country and say, now in favor of cutting these taxes that have been raised because we did not solve this before the fiscal cliff. he can turn and say to my want to restore some of this funding that my secretary ofefense and joint chiefs of staff told me i need to restore and can position himself as sort of the protector
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of u.s. national security. so there are som clear incentives to the president to lead the country over the fiscal cliff. do i think that's what he wants? probably not, but do i think there are incentives for him to do it temecula. gerri: never looked at it that way as you look at this debate on going, there are a lot of folks who say we will be flirtingwith recession or in receson f we do go over the cliff. do you agree? >> that happens only if we go off the cliff and stay off for an extended amount of time. to we d't go into recession justecause we don't have a resolution on january the first. it's a question of whether we have no resolution at that time but it seems that it's likely to a come within a short time. the longer we go into january with no resolution the more likely that we do go off the cliff into recession.
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gerri: the broader conceris if we confined in the ground. eat to have you on the show. only moments ago i was speaking to a fellow whose business is buying and selling small businesses. he taught me all year long small business owners out thre seeing the fiscal cliff in front of them have been saying i'm ready to sell. have you seen that? >> well, i just talked to a friend of mine today. why would anybody in america who has been successful cotinue to do it? on january 1st if my wife and i get hit by a bust the government thinks they're entitled o 55% basically everything have made. here's one hotel tthat iona's with about $20 million. apparently passing them on o my children on january 1st is some kind of threat to there public. i think it's a threat to being in the land of the free. gerri: as you are implying, the
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taxes, the debt tax sores after january 1 if nothing happens. >> monster. gerri: absolutely frightening. to you, you can see how people are reacting in the heartland to this. we're seing reports every single day about people who are no upping the ante to charity because they're worrd that their charitable donation will be worth less. companies are paying ividends like to have not seen in december. it seems to me like the rest of the world is ahead of congress. washington is in the rearview see, and everybody else is getting ahead of them. >> right. i say that's like every other day in america where the rest of e world as head of congress. [laughter] gerri: how is this different? [laughter] >> i think that's right. i think what we're seeing in public is a little bit different from all rehearsing in private. what you're likely to see is republicans agree to some kind of decoupling of the tax rate
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issue, whether they do it and this proposal that has been floated that they vote present and let the president and democrats on the issue or whether they free up -- whether john boehner frieze of members congress to vote for some kind of a compromise that would include a rise in rates on the wealthy. i don't know what the mechanisms will be, but you have the negotiations taking place on the one hand, and on the other hand you have negotiations on all the rest of the stuff which is likely to be lumped into some kind of an omnibus bill a series of bills at the end of the year struck the last minute to bail us out of this issue. likely to include a bunch of unattractive ad-ons, last minute things, and it will be the kind of agreement, the kind of negotiation that leaves the rest of america, the heartland, as you say, even mo disaffected with the ways that washington is doing business. looks like the way that washington is going to be doing business from here forward.
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gerri: to you. you watch this. you must be disblieving. the length of time these things take. very important jobs numbers and the jobless rate in down to 7%. but what is astonishing about that report was not that number or even the one below it. it was the number of people who are out of the workforce, not looking for a job, a disaffected, the people who don't want to look. some 350,000 folks. this was, to me, a real wake-up call in the jobs market. what do you see? >> well, less than two out of three americans that are working that means more than one out of three people are apparently sitting on. what kind of productivity due respect to all kind of growth to we expect if one of three people are sitting home? we had a grand bargain in this country for about 50 yeas. we took about 80 percent of gdp
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in revenue and spend 20. 1919 and a balanced budget amendment. gerri: that put the capper on it. thank you for coming out tonight. we appreciate your time. >> thank you. gerri: have a great weekend, guys. as you rushed to make destinations , don't do it blindly. coming up in half an hour, the ceo gives us his it done dating doand don'ts. you'll want to hear that. a lot more still to come to including one of the bellwether companies for employee benefits, changing the way it does retirement. next, the 19 member of the senate banking committee tells us what he thinks needs to happen in d.c. to get a deal on the fiscal close. ♪ can i help you?
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gerri: speaker john barrett today calling up the white house saying their wasting time and president obama is bringing our economy right to the edge. >> ford is your we offered a serious proposal based on testimony of friends that clinton's form chief of staff. since then there has been no counteroffer from the white house. instead, reports indicate that the president has adopted a deliberate strategy to a slow walk our economy right to the edge of the fiscal cliff. gerri: earlier i asked republican senator richard shelby ofalabama for his take on the comments from boehner. >> i believe that speaker boehner is on the right track. the president has not come uptown now, been deeply involved, that we know about , in any of these offers are counteroffers. dealers said he has been campaigning to meet. but he has to get involved if he wants to avoid the fiscal cliff. i think that the speaker has indicated that he will try to
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engage in, try to meet him and try to avoid the fiscal cleft that the presiient is going to continue to say it is my way or the highway, that is another game. gerri: it is. harry reid today saying that the game is at chess game, and the republicans are the jets. here is harry reid. >> he has a problem. he has three quartercks. he cannot decide who the quarterback is going to be. that is the same problem republicans are having. romney is gone, but he is still in the background. we have mcconnell and boehner. who is the quarterbck, mr. president? gerri: what do you make of hat analogy? >> well, that is a fotball analogy. we'll that from time to time, but the reality is the speaker of the house is the speaker. the house is the majority republican, and if he is going to advanc that way, that is probably in order.
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senator mcconnell is involved, i'm sure talking with boehner about these issues. he always has been, but you have to have the spokesn, somebody to tk to. the president is absent up here, and i hope he will come to the table. i hope we can avoid it, ut a lot of it is going to ultimately be on the preside's watch. gerri: i have to tell you, there are other people mia. most of the house is gone n vacation. the senate is spending all this time figuring a helmet will be able to watch lincoln and have popcorn. this is what harry reid is that the last c couple of days doing. why can't we get people in the same room and try to get this thing resolved instead of just talking past each othr? >> that is an excellent idea, but first a believe we have to gethe president involved with the speaker of the house and see what the real parameters are and see if there is any real negotiating room there, wiggle room on each side. until that happens, you know, if you do it in the press and you do it in ohio, you do it in
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michigan, you do it in texas, somewhere else, that's not doing here. gerri: well, i want to get you to another topic as well today, which is the ederal house in administration, which is facing just an unprecedented finncial problem. and now sean donovan who runs the department of housing and urban development, hey, we are taking steps to try to lighten the load, but is it enough? and what is the right rescue? what is the right plan for the fha? >> actually, it is a timely question. we had the hud secretary before the banking committee yesterday. fha has over a trillion dolars in its portfolio. is hemorrhaging billions of dollars. it has a negative worth of value right now. i amfraid it is going to be asking senate and later for a taxpayer bailout. they already have the mechism in place to tap the treasury. i hope there won't.
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the secretary, i hope, will -- he has some tools at his discretion. he can run the premium of and bring in more money. he can stop the hmorrhaging that way. he can also, perhaps, what to he makes loans to. some of the loans that were made are just defaulting left and right. you can't have that kind of a housing policy. gerri: will it be enough simply to raise premiums? they have already done that, already trying to market these bad loans as quickly as they can. does the situation called for a more radical response? >> oh, i think raising premiums, you are right, alone will not do it. part of it is, it is inhernt in the fha program. people are paying down so few dollars. they have not much equity in the game. and a lot of them have lowered some of the chris coor's, you know, to get people. and people in default or have bad credit will continually default again.
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that is part of the problem on underwriting. gerri: we have to find some kind of solution because there is not a person i know who wants to bailout somebody else right now. i think we have had it with the bailouts. >> i hope so. gerri: me, to. senator richard shelby, think you for coming up tonight. an absolute pleasure to have you. >> thank you. ♪ gerri: president obama flip-floping on his inauguration he is not going to accept unlimited sums of corporate money to pay for his inauguration. obama had banned corporate donors for is 2009 swearing-in in order to give the present supporters ownership. but now they will accept cash from companies and individuals to underwrite the cost of the festivities next month. i guess taxpayers wilhav to foot some much of the bill, but corporate sponsors will be right there trying to get all of the influence the can. you're fired up about this during the issue, taught me an e-mail.
5:18 am ♪ >> coming up on "the willis report," ibm etting flak from making major changes to its retirement program. at what cost to its employees? could your employer pull a fast one i knew? jerry dissects it all next. ♪ is the president not doing everything by the book? fox newslegal analyst is here to break down why some say he should be in trouble wi the la. is the season fo giving, but don't let washington fiscal cliff talks cloud your judgment for finding the best cherries for your dope. our experts shares tips on what you need to know. we are on the case next on "the we are on the case next on "the willis report". this family used capital one venture miles to come home for the holidays. that's double miles you can actually use... sadly, their brother's white christmas
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♪ gerri: big changes coming to tech giant ibm that may change tech giant ibm that may change the way you save for 
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♪ gerri: there is the story out there not getting a lot of attention today that you need to hear about, particularly if you care about your retirement. ibm overhauling its retirement progra instead of contributing to its employees 401(k) over time, the company will opt to contribute a lump-sum payment once per year. this may not sound like a big change, but the move undermines the very idea of retirement savings. look, the attraction of a fox business is the ide that you leveled out what you pay for in investments over time. stock prices go up, they go down, but over time you average out your risks and your cost. i call it dollar cost averaging. but with ibm's new plan, he advantage of its lead disappears. this would not be such a big deal, but ibm is considered a leader in employee you beefits. the company believes is the trail with innovative policies. and other big companies are sure
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to follow the lead. now, to be sure shareholders may like to move because it will save the company millions of dollars a year in compensation expenses. but employees who are close to retirement and desperately trying to make up or losses from the recession are not going to be so happy. and also, one thing we should say to be fair, at least ibm has a plan, and they are contributing to it. i want to make sure we've jealously guard every advantage to small investor has. that's why i'm talkinn about today. that brings me to the investment company institute and its press release this week, which, frankly, was a stunner. the investment company institute is a trade group representing mutual funds and other investment companies is product we all used to grow our mutual fund balances. they say after an examination of researching datahe group gives its members a thumbs up on the jobs it has done, helping americans prepare for retirement well done.
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i disagree. americans are struggling in their efforts to put together an accord retirement savings. true, total retirement dollars have risen over the nearly 30 years the trade group is studying, but you expect that because many households lost the benefit of company sponsored pensions and were forced to start sitting on their own. we need to look at the cold hard reality. the majority of aericans, some 75%, have less than $30,000 in their retirement accounts back in 2010. the savings accrued by the majority of middle-class seniors will support their current standard of living. instead of cutting each other on the ba we need to get serious about what eventually will be retirementcatastrophef we don't do something different. applauding the move becauset saves a penny ortwo is a big fat mistake. that's my view. coming up, it is the season to give to charity, especially before thend of the year so you can get tax breaks. what to those charities? and the president obama break
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gerri: did president obama break the law? a federal appeals court is deciding if the president's appointments to the national labor relations board when the senate was on recess was unlawful. why? well, because senate senate republicans say the senate was in session. the chris was brought on by a bottling company after the nlrb ruled that the company must enter into a collective bargaining agrment with the labor union. the company is arguing the decision can't be made because the recess appointments are invalid. here is weigh in, lis wiehl, fox news analyst and randy zelen.
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look at the end of the day this whole thing is argument was the senate in session or was it not. >> were they in kindergarten or on recess. the president may have skirted the law a little bit, like a little bit of sidelining it but did he cross over the line? no. does this happen all the time? yes. yes it does. melissa: randy, what do you say. >> skirted the law like i'm wearing a skirt. he obliterated law. exactly. let's take a step back look at what this whole thing was designed to do. once a upon a time, smart guys, founding father, look you have to make a temporary appointment, senate confirm it we'll not the drag the senate back in. mr. president do whayou have to do. it was for the convenes of nate, not to screw the senate which is exactly what the president is doing. >> this is family show. we don't speak in those terms. melissa: was he trying to get around the senate? was he trying to do something that the senate did not like?
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>> he was spirited but he did not go over the line. legally it is proper. you can't argue with that. >> yes i can. >> knock yourself out. at that. >> he killed it. he thr it out the window. >> how is it illegal? >> because first of all it is intercession. the congress, senate is supposed to be gone until 2013. they're not gone. they're still around. which means there is no interrecess. in fact arguing for the president blew it and kind of admitted it. >> technically they declared recess that meant they were out. whether they were physically there or not, it doesn't real make a difference. they declared a recess. that means there was recess. he could make those appointments. melissa: move ooto something is something else you will disagree. this isn't just about politics, randy? >> yes. meliss. >> but it doesn't matter. you're asking a legal question. the --. meliss that is political question now.
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and let me expand on it because i think the president is using this as an opening and may revisit this. this is wasn't like, oh shoot, i didn't realize -- >> of course not much of course not. >> taking full advantage, is that wha we want from our government leaders. if what he legally can take full advantage of. >> i disagree. i agree it isaking advantage. that is exactly what it is. is that the message we want to send? when do we as citizens take off i'm with stupid t-shirts. this why we don't get anything done. melissa: we're good at that. how you think the court will rule? >> it will be legal. court will look at it, but say, the senate was in recess. it was completely legal and according to what other precedents done. >> no question, based on questions thrown at the attorneys the court is saying come on, wait a second. they were not in recess. >> that's not what gerri was asking. gerri is asking what will
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the court absolutely rule? >> they're going to say no, no, no. smack, mr. president. >> smack, mr. president. break that down a little bit. >> that he shouldn't have done it. wronfor doing it. he broke the law. he didn't skirt it. he broke i >> the court will say cording to you what he did woos illegal? >> the appointmenis gone. see ya. >> you're wrong. melissa: what does -- >> either side will appeal. then the supreme court will take it or not take it. i don't think so. >> i kind of hope that they do, if nothing else to say, it's enough with this stuff. the only thing that everybody in government can agree on is to call a fancy sound bite like the fiscal cliff but not get anything done. this is primary example why we don'' get anything done. melissa: we agree to disagree, am i right? >> we're definitely agreeing to disagree. melissa: i love when that happens. randy first time. >> thanks so much for happening. delightful to be on with you,
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and you. melissa: thank you so much. we want to know, we want to follow up on a story we've been covering for some time now. michigan a labor mecca as you know is now a right-to-work state, believe it or not. like other states in the region republicans achieved almost impossible feat, to get the statehouse and senate to pass the legislation in one single day. the state could become the 24th right-to-work state with a law next week. that means workers will not be required to join a union or pay dues as condition of employment. rules require a five-day waiting period before the governor can sign the bills which he has pledged to do the bills passed despite cries of outge of union activists who stormed the state capitol. police were rmed to use pepper spray to subdue the protesters. there were walk outs from democrats. >> these guys lied to every day and acting like cowards pushing this through in the dark of night lame duck. >> he says this is leadership. >> baloney.
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melissa: republicans lost five house seats in the november election and admitted to wanting to get it done before the legislature takes office next mth. unions may not like it. it is pro-workers pro-growth, pro-employment, pro-economy. you name it. good for them. stl to come my two cents more on barney frank's next career move. it is a shocker. will it be a merry little christmas for the stock rket? scott martin will tell us whether santa will bring a bull or a bear and what 2013 has in store for us. ♪ . @a
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melissa: "fox business alert" for you now. netflix is facing scriny over a facebook post by its
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ceo. listen to this. securities & exchange commission recommending action be brought against ceo reed hastings. he posted his online video, viewing exceeded one billion hours for the first time ever in june. information how the company was performing. the sec says that information should have been disclosed in a regulatory filing or news release. shares of netflix rose more than 6% on the day of the post and another 13 points on the next trading day. in response to the sec notice hastings used facebook again to call the probe a fascinating social media story. wow! taunting them. d while the dow and s&p ended the week in the green, wall street seems pretty split how the market will perform in 2013. some analysts predicting gains as much as 14%. others a loss as much as 2%. scott martin, chief market strategist for united advisors joins me now. i can't say scott martin and stock market together. it is not working for me
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today. >> should i leave the business then and do something else, huh? melissa: i think we should talk about something else. i'm getting to talk about the santa claus rally. is there a santa claus rally? will very a true santa clause rally? >> i think it will be tough to get one, i really do. there will be repositions portfolios at end of the year. people are getting nervous about the fiscal cliff. i wasn't that concerned a couple weeks ago. you got on top of me about that and you were totally correct. it is starting to hurt people. it was a good call by you. i think at hurts stocks by end of the year and investor spending an appetite and consumer spending as well. >> i love it whenou tell me i'm right. it often doesn't last very long. i got to think though at some point when we get some real clarity on this, really, no matter what, whether it is good for bad for investors and taxpayers, there is going to be a little relief in the market, don't you think? >> i think so. and you're right, clarity is
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definitely i thi what a lot of people are looking for. both side of the aisle i think want to get something done it is just what. the other question though i have, we talk about the s&p 500, right? let's say today it is at 1420 or so. when you look at corporate profits, gerri and impact in potential changes in tax regulations will be on company prots you have to revalue the market sowhere in here which i think is at lower price if companies are trying to pay the government more money. gerri: let's talk about 2013 and whatwe might expect. as i said in the intro, expectations are all over the place. citigroup predicting stocks will go up 14% next year. goldman sachs 11, ubs just 1%. morgan stanley one. wells fargo says the market will go down 2%. where do you fall? >> i'm probably up four or 5%. i'm not expecting that great of a year net -- net at end of the year. i think it will be ptty bumpy at the end of the year while the stuff gets worked
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out and pele reevaluate theandscape of everything. i will comment on the numbers you threw out there. that scares me a little bit that everybody is so, let's say positive. i don'tant to spike the gnog here but the fact there is not one person or one bank that says the market will be down next year frightens me a little bit. gerri: wells fargo says it will be down by2%. they're the outlyer. >> right. gerri: they are the only one of five we talked about. a lot of optimism out there. we've been in the bull market a long time. it has been very strong. people get cplacent. they start betting same thg will happen over and over again. is that the same thing i see a lot of fellow strategists make? >> a lot of times. people do the old, you chase the returnand get in at the last minute and get hit when the market goes down. i will tell you, you made a good comment, it has been a good bull market. investor hasn't participated in much of the gains i hope they're not left out in the cold here a the market seems to top out.
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gerri: usually the smallest investors get in the latest in the rally and often miss highs. it always happens that way. it is sad but true. you said housing will be an important driver of growth in 2013. finally, finally you think it will happen? >> believe it or not, gerri, i like the housing sector. transactions are happening all over t place. banks are lending money. housing is only 5% of the gdp after it got decimated last few years and has a long way to come back but the arrow is pointing out up. gerri: thanks. good to talk to you. scott martin, stock market. scott martin, stock market. >> i will stay in the business one more day. gerri: have a good weekend. >> bye. gerri: eyes of big government will soon be in your life every way, and soon in your car. they are proposing automakers install black boxes like you see in airline cockpits. they will be in all passenger vehiclesfter
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december 21st, 2014. they automatically record the drivers responses of vehicles in continue us loops. that information couldn't be misused now, could it? hmmm. coming up next, the obamas lighted the national christmas tree. see how many trees are inside the white house. you will be astonished. ♪ [ male announcer ] this is the age of kning what you're made of. why let erectile dysfunction get in your way? talk to your doctor about viagra.
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ask if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take viaa if you take nitrates for chest pain; it macausan unsafe drop in blood pressure. side effects include headache, flushin upset stomach, and abnormal vision. to avoid long-term injury, seek immediate medical help for an erection lasting more than four hours. stop taking viagra and call your doctor right away if you experience a sudden decrease oloss in vision or hearing. this is the age of taking action. viagra. talk your doctor. this is the age of taking action. i have obligations. cute tobligations, but i need to rethink e core of my portfolio. what i really need is sleep. introducing the ishares core, building blocks for the heart of your portfolio. find out why 9 out of 10 large professional investors choose iares for their etfs. ishares by blackrock. call 1-800-ishares for a prospectus which include investment oectives, risks, charges and expenses. read and consider it carefully before investing. risk inclus possible loss of principal. gerri: if you're anning to
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donate to charity for the holidays, stay tuned, up next year-end tips
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gerri: americans are back to using their credit cards now in record numbers. according to the federal reserve, u.s. consumer borrowing hitting a record $2.7 trillion in october. that is up more than 14 dal billion month over month. they were using them to buy cars and attend schools. autos and student loans increased nearly $11 billion. moving on giving to charity during the holidays is always a good feeling. nearly half of all contributions charities receive each year are made between thanksgiving and neyear's. with talks of congress limiting the charitable tax deduction as part of the fiscal cliff negotiation will this year be any different?
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we have the head of charity navigator with me now. ken, we were talking during the break, there has been, you've seen increasing contributions to chaties this year because of that fiscal cliff. what do you see? >> we've seen some larger charities have seen as much as 7 or 8% increase in donations whereas some of the smaller charities they're still struggling and donations are somewhat level from last year. gerri: you know, people have this on the front of mind. this is traditional time of year you make your contributions and this year more than ever i think people are thinking their dollar will go further because of the possible changes in taxes. what is the one thing you would tell folks this year about chartable giving? what do they need to think about or remember this year? >> they need to remember that even now more than every charities really need their help. there is more of a demand because of unemployment, because of other challenges out there, disasters and storms and so forth. in addition to that, they're
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already over the fiscal cliff to some degree in the sense they're seeing very large reductions in the amount of support they get for support they provide through government funding. ey have already gotten a haircut. gerri: they're squeezed both ways? >> indeed they are. gerri: your organization doing a lot of polling of the people who give and the people who take. what are you hearing? >> we hear people are planning to give at least a little bit more. the economy has slowly improved. people feel they are able to give a bit more and need out there is tremends for the services of many of these charities. gerri:ow the beauty of your website ishat you actually rate, rank these charities and talk about what they're good at, what they're bad at. how much of their money is actually going to the charitable cause they're pursuing. tell us about a little bit about your website and what is it people really need to y attention to when they're picking a charity? >> sure. we rate more charities than any other organization in the world. we're about, half of all the
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money in donations goes to those charities we evaluate and we're continuing to expand. there are three critical things people should nsider and our website is working on all of that. one is the finances of the organization. is the money going to the right place? does the organization have sustainability, financial health? the second area what we call best practice, governance, accountability and transparency. it is all about do they have a srong board so the ceo is accountable to others and they're ethical in their practices. the third is mission critical. what about the results of ire work? do you do more than story telling? if you have an employment program how many people are employed a year out? really meaningful information that you're changing lives. gerri: we were talking in the break about some of the thgs go wrong or awry with charities. you have to be careful in choosing one. telemarketing firms are a big issue. what is going on? >> there are a number of investigations and congress is thinking of getting involved as well. apparently telemarketers are gouging more and more money
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out of a lot of charitable donations and a lot of relatively large charities are getting involved. what it means for a donor, 50 cents of your dollar, 90 cents your dollar, in some cases 100% ofour dollar is going to the telemarketers of your cause. gerri: you say no strings attached what does that3 mean? >> once you trust, you come to organizations like ours, don't hamstring them and say just use the money for this purpose because your dollars are precious and emergency and crisis you give them the flexibilitity to make the judgment on the ground it can be incredibly powerful and helpful. gerri: fi the perfect fit. you do want to find a charity out there doing something you're interested in and connected to, right? >> yes. sometimes a charity will have a broad mission that sounds right but if you drill it down it may not be what you have in mind. for example an organization in the area of cancer and you think they're providing examinations and it turns out th're doing lobbying. so you really need to know
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it fits what you're interested in. gerri: you say don't forget nonsandy charities. are all the sandy charities getting all the money this year? >> unfortunately when disasters happen there is flood of money because of a good heart of americans and it is appropriate that way, but when it happens right have to make choices where your charitable dollars to go there is tension and some charities that lose out that really need help. of course it is no easy choiceor a donor. we recommend if at all possible that you don't forget thosecharities that are there for you all year-round. gerri: up 7.5% for the big charities. that ian amazing number. ken, thanks for coming on. it is charitynavigate, correct? >> correct. gerri: great website. president obama and his family getting into the christmas spirit at the 90th tree-lighting ceremony at the whites house. it was transplanted to the white house days before the
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hurricane. look at that. it is cool. it made it through unharmed. obama was saying santa claus is coming to town. this is the tree outside. guess what? there are 54 more of them inside the house. than last year. there is one tree dedicated just to the obama family dog, bo. of course 100 pound gingerbrd house has working chan dell leers. with the country in budget crisis and many in the northeast not able to get a christmas tree this year thanks to sandy, you would thinkhey would tone it down a little bit. that's what i think. we want to know what you think. does the white house need 54 christmas trees? log on to and vote on the right-hand side of the screen. i will announce the results at end of the show. with all thealk about the white house christmas tree and rockefeller christmas tree you would think they're the biggest and brightest around but they e not. here are the top five tallest christmas trees in
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the country. number five, the mayor's christmas tree in kansas city, missouri. 100 foot tall tree in the city. not bought but grown by the mayor himself. way to go. number four, the christmas tree at the grove in los angeles. they may not have a white christmas but they certainly ve the spirit thanks to 110 foot white fir adorned with 10,000 lights and 15,000 decorations. number three the outlet mall in anthem, arizona. the 112-foot tree is decaded with two mis of lights and more than 3000 ornaments. took 14 workers to put up the tree probably weeks and weeks and weeks. number two the victoria village in fern dale, california. 1557 foot tree. still growing. the fire department deck rates the spruce at the end. main street. number one tallest christmas tree in the country. the tree at coeur d' alene in idaho. gorgeous. makes it easier. feet tall.
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the star alone is 10 feet tall. the rockefeller tree in new york city is 9th tallest, only the 9th a 74 feet and it is big. ♪ [ engine revs ] ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] the mercedes-benz winter event is back, with the perfect vehicle that's just right for you, no matter which list you're on. [ santa ] ho, ho, ho, ho! [ male annocer ] lease a 2013 ml350 for $599 a month at your local mercedes-benz dealer.
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gerri: the white house and congress fight over cutting spenng, the white house to celebrate the holiday season with 54 christmas trees. does the white house need that many? here is what some of you are tweeting me. no way. how wasteful. mark has a different response. as long as they keep telling them christmas trees and 54 is fine. we also asked on . 3 percent said yes, and 97 percent said no. be sure to log n for our on-line question every weekday. here are some of your e-mails. any cat has to start at the top. the agency's, the salari of
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all government employees. more of a leg to stand on about fairness andaxing the rich. if our politicians would give up their entitlements we would save the country billions and not have to affect the general public and their social security and medicare. dan says, thii tax bite is why we should hold elections on april 15th. that is a great idea. it all comes together. i love hearing from ou. send me an e-mail. finally tonight, just when you thought of retiing massachusetts congressman -- congressman barney frank was stepping out of the limelight, no way. the bostn globe reporting the 72-year-old democratic congressman who is set to retire in january hired the big shot hollywood agency william morris to represent him in the next phase of his career. william morris is run by r.e.m. manuel, the brother of chicago mayor and the inspiration for the character ari goldman he


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